Following on from the 5p charge being introduced to England in October 2015, shoppers will now have to pay 10p for plastic bags as part of plans introduced by the UK’s environment secretary.

The increased charge will take effect in January 2020 and Michael Gove (environment secretary) suggests that this attempt to further reduce the damaging misuse of plastic bags would prove to once again be successful.

Speaking to Sky News, Michael commented “The 5p single-use plastic carrier bag charge has been extremely successful in reducing the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives. Between us, we have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to do even more to protect our precious planet and today’s announcement will accelerate further behaviour-change and build on the success of the existing change.”

The statistics provide evidence of this as only 2 billion plastic bags were sold in the last financial year, compared to 7.6 billion in 2014 – handed out solely by the country’s seven largest supermarkets.

It cannot be denied that plastic is an incredibly versatile and useful material. However, frequent ill use and general irresponsibility has led to harm to the environment across the globe.

Further efforts to improve the wellbeing of the planet can only be positive.